In Proverbs 13:24 Solomon says:
He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.
In just a few verses, God's word lays out four very important principles to guide parents in the difficult task of disciplining their children:
1. Discipline is Based in Love
The sometimes unpleasant task of discipline would become more acceptable if both parents and children understood that discipline, in whatever form it takes, is an expression of love. If this were the case parents wouldn't avoid it and children wouldn't resent it as much.
2. Discipline is Necessary
Parents are often wearied by the constant need to discipline. As Christians we should remember that sinfulness affects everyone --even children. Kids aren't perfect; that's why they need discipline.
3. Discipline Diligently
Solomon said discipline diligently. One of the most important tasks of parents is the constant disciplining of their children. Parents shouldn't become discouraged; all children need discipline over a long period of time.
4. Discipline Prevents Destruction
Without discipline a child is ruined. A parent who allows his child to be destroyed by the lack of training and teaching does, in fact, hate that child because he is contributing to his eventual destruction.
As parents we need to remember that diligent discipline now may avoid a long life of regret for both parent and child later on.
- Describe your parents' disciplining method or approach.
- Who is the disciplinarian in your family? Why?
- How should one deal with children who grow more resistant or rebellious when disciplined? Why this course of action?
- What does Solomon mean when he says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it."? (Proverbs 22:6)
- If you were to change one thing in the way you were disciplined as a child, or the way you discipline your own children, what would that be? Why?